proximate cause

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Related to Proximate causes: Legal cause

Proximate Cause

An act from which an injury results as a natural, direct, uninterrupted consequence and without which the injury would not have occurred.

Proximate cause is the primary cause of an injury. It is not necessarily the closest cause in time or space nor the first event that sets in motion a sequence of events leading to an injury. Proximate cause produces particular, foreseeable consequences without the intervention of any independent or unforeseeable cause. It is also known as legal cause.

To help determine the proximate cause of an injury in Negligence or other tort cases, courts have devised the "but for" or "sine qua non" rule, which considers whether the injury would not have occurred but for the defendant's negligent act. A finding that an injury would not have occurred but for a defendant's act establishes that the particular act or omission is the proximate cause of the harm, but it does not necessarily establish liability since a variety of other factors can come into play in tort actions.

Some jurisdictions apply the "substantial factor" formula to determine proximate cause. This rule considers whether the defendant's conduct was a substantial factor in producing the harm. If the act was a substantial factor in bringing about the damage, then the defendant will be held liable unless she can raise a sufficient defense to rebut the claims.

proximate cause

n. a happening which results in an event, particularly injury due to negligence or an intentional wrongful act. In order to prevail (win) in a lawsuit for damages due to negligence or some other wrong, it is essential to claim (plead) proximate cause in the complaint and to prove in trial that the negligent act of the defendant was the proximate cause (and not some other reason) of the damages to the plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit). Sometimes there is an intervening cause which comes between the original negligence of the defendant and the injured plaintiff, which will either reduce the amount of responsibility or, if this intervening cause is the substantial reason for the injury, then the defendant will not be liable at all. In criminal law, the defendant's act must have been the proximate cause of the death of a victim to prove murder or manslaughter. (See: negligence, intervening cause)

proximate cause

noun causation, derivation, immediate legal basis, immediate legal cause, immediate legal genesis, proper cause, proximate causation, sufficient legal basis, sufficient legal causation, sufficient legal cause, sufficient legal factor, sufficient legal genesis, sufficient legal inducement, sufficient legal source
Associated concepts: contribution-efficient cause, contribuuory negligence, immediate cause, intervening cause, proximate consequence, proximate result
References in periodicals archive ?
negligence of the plaintiff or third parties), all of which may be proximate causes of the injuries the plaintiff sustained, whether they are limited to those sustained in the initial collision or enhanced by a defective product in a subsequent collision.
The key to answering this question lies in proximate cause analysis, which plays an extremely significant role in both comparative fault and the enhanced injury doctrine.
t]he determination of proximate cause by a court is to be based
A party is responsible for the accident if it is a proximate cause of the accident.
In a trucking case, one proximate cause could be the driver's negligence, and another could be the employer's negligence in entrusting a vehicle to the driver.
Noting that accidents can have more than one proximate cause, the court refused, despite the crashworthiness doctrine, to retreat from the "longstanding rule that a plaintiff's negligence is a complete bar to recovery if it contributes to his injuries.
Relying on the so-called subsequent tortfeasor doctrine, the court explained that "an original tortfeasor is considered a proximate cause, as a matter of law, of injuries caused by subsequent negligen[ce]" of the manufacturer of the defective product.
These were the proximate causes of today's inequities that the ultimate causes gave rise to.
Some traditions promote proximate causes that are but contiguous or correlated with today's world order, and their history is written in a presentist fashion (e.
to get beyond the proximate cause and to the root causes.
56) The court denied the University's motion for summary judgment, reasoning that the University had a duty to Flynn and that the University's negligence could be found to be the proximate cause of the underage drinking and the resulting accident.